Clicker Training is a fun and effective way to teach new behaviors. Ready to get started? Here are five simple tips:
- To begin, choose a quiet area with few distractions. Be sure to have lots of small treats on-hand, as well as your clicker. Choose small treats that your dog loves so that the treats can be consumed quickly. It is also helpful to store the treats in a treat pouch instead of your hand so that your dog is focused on you and not the treats.
- Choose the behavior that you would like your dog to learn. Begin with something simple, such as sit, come, touch your hand with his nose, or touch and follow a target stick.
- Click for any movements toward your goal. For example, if you would like your dog to touch his nose to your hand, click the instant your dog looks at your hand. (If your dog touches it right away, click that!)
- Immediately follow the click with a treat.
- Continue to increase your criteria, clicking and delivering a treat for each progression toward your goal (i.e., moving toward your hand) until your dog is offering the desired behavior.
Keep practice sessions short, no more than 3-5 minutes at a time. Once your animal is offering the desired behavior reliably, you can add a cue (i.e, “Touch”).
Want to learn more about how to use a clicker to teach your dog new behaviors? The sky is the limit! Purchase a Clicker or Clicker Training Kit and be amazed at what you and your dog can achieve together!